An Unflattering Look at Flattery

You are engaged in conversation with someone. At some point you begin to flatter them. You intend to compliment them perhaps because the conversation has slowed, perhaps because you want another to like you, perhaps because it is your tradition.  To live a disciplined life, we must consider that flattery is defined as excessive or insincere praise. 

You may be unaware of the dangers that could befall you when you excessively or insincerely praise someone. What are some of the dangers of flattery? Read on to find that flattery is dangerous to your character, reputation, and even your children. It is a tool used by wayward women and dignitaries to corrupt and entangle others in pride.

From the book of Job (Danger to your child and yourself)

  • He that speaketh flattery to his friends, even the eyes of his children shall fail.– Job 17:5
  • Let me not, I pray you, accept any man’s person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man. For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my maker would soon take me away. – Job 32:21-22

From the book of Psalms (Danger to your character and your reputation)

  • For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue. – Psalm 5:9
  • They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak. The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things: – Psalms 12:2-3
  • For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful. – Psalms 36:2
  • Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues. – Psalms 78:36

From the book of Proverbs (Dangerous tool of women, causing ruin and traps for others)

  • To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words. – Proverbs 2:16
  • To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman.– Proverbs 6:24
  • That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.– Proverbs 7:5
  • With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.– Proverbs 7:21
  • He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips. – Proverbs 20:19
  • A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin. – Proverbs 26:28 
  • He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue. – Proverbs 28:23
  • A man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for his feet.– Proverbs 29:5

From the book of Daniel (Dangerous tool of dignitaries used to corrupt others)

  • And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries. – Daniel 11:21  
  • And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. – Daniel 11:32
  • Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. – Daniel 11:34

From the book of 1 Thessalonians (Danger forseen)

  • For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness: – 1 Thessalonians 2:5

The saying ‘Flattery will get you nowhere‘ must come from a wise person, knowledgeable of the dangers of flattery. Just because it is a custom, a tradition to some, does not mean that it is acceptable to God.  Discovering the vice of flattery and resisting the temptation to offer it as well as shunning those who bestow it is a step toward godliness in the disciple.

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